The White Columns Annual is open again this year, presenting a series of works centered around the title Looking Back. This year, curator Pati Hertling has been invited to select works based on her “personal experience of looking at art in New York” over the past year.
The ongoing theme of the White Columns Annual is an attempt to negotiate and engage with New York’s constantly shifting cultural landscape. Each year, the gallery selects one individual or collaborative team to create highly subjective selections, acting as personal reflections of their own experiences viewing art in New York. The exhibition hopes to follow specific, unconventional individuals who represent a relatively small yet important part of the widespread cultural environment of New York, in turn revealing the disparity and fragmentation present in the environment of an ever-changing city. However different the artists are within the display, the exhibition does explore some underlying themes, based on shared conditions or incidental connections, forming a kind of distant conversation between a large variety of artists.
The White Columns Annual has been said by critic Hollander Cotter of The New York Times in 2006 to “…reconsider a slice of art’s immediate past…affording a chance to linger over art that was seen earlier only in rushed visits, missed entirely or enthusiastically remembered.” Additionally, as it gives artists who are unlikely to present their work in more mainstream contexts a chance to represent the cultural landscape of New York City.
Participating artists this year include Ei Arakawa, Brendan Fowler, Marie Karlberg, Marisa Merz, Rosemarie Trockel, Danh Vo, and many more, making up a list of over 40 artists on view throughout the pink walls of the gallery space. A narrative arc seems to float silently behind the exhibition on view, using perspective and personal experience as part of a wider experiential presentation. “I’m very interested in community and the notion of art as community,” Hertling said in a recent interview with Opening Ceremony. “Art is a tool to keep us aware of problems and to foster society into becoming more conscious.”
Looking Back at White Columns will remain on view through February 22nd, 2014.